gradient (plural gradients)

  1. A slope or incline.
  2. A rate of inclination or declination of a slope.
  3. (calculus) Of a function y = f(x) or the graph of such a function, the rate of change of y with respect to x
    that is, the amount by which y changes for a certain (often unit) change in x
    equivalently, the inclination to the X axis of the tangent to the curve of the graph.
  4. (science) The rate at which a physical quantity increases or decreases relative to change in a given variable, especially distance.
  5. (analysis) A differential operator that maps each point of a scalar field to a vector pointed in the direction of the greatest rate of change of the scalar. Notation for a scalar field φ: ∇φ
  6. A gradual change in color. A color gradient; gradation.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Adjective

gradient (not comparable)

  1. Moving by steps; walking.
    gradient automata
  2. Rising or descending by regular degrees of inclination.
    the gradient line of a railroad
  3. Adapted for walking, as the feet of certain birds.

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